PITTSBURGH, April 22, 2014 – The biennial All Together Better Health conference will hold its first U.S. meeting in Pittsburgh this June to highlight the latest research on interprofessionalism and team-based health care delivery. The international conference serves as a forum for health system executives, educational leaders and policy makers to share new studies and shape the future of the health care workforce.
More than 500 research projects from 27 countries will be presented on the topics of interprofessional practice and education, an evolving concept in health care that uses a team approach to efficiently provide the best and most cost-effective care to each patient. UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences are at the forefront of developing and implementing new models of interprofessional care.
“Teamwork is emerging as a critical strategy to improve outcomes and lower health care costs in the U.S. and around the globe,” said Everette James, J.D., M.B.A., director of Pitt’s Health Policy Institute. “We are pleased to serve as host for this important event, where participants will take stock of the latest research on new models of interprofessional care.”
Co-hosted by Pitt and The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education from June 6 to 8 on and around the University of Pittsburgh campus, this will be the seventh All Together Better Health conference. Past conferences have been held in Sydney, Vancouver and London, among others.
Sir David Nicholson, who stepped down March 31 as chief executive officer of England’s National Health Service, the world’s largest publicly funded health care system, will give the keynote address, providing his view on interprofessional care from both the payer and provider perspectives.
Steven Shapiro, M.D., UPMC’s chief medical and scientific officer; Mark A. Wagner, M.D., executive dean of education at Mayo Clinic; and Barbara Brandt, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota, will give the opening plenary session on advancing interprofessionalism in the U.S.
Pitt and UPMC were recently selected as a joint innovation incubator site for the National Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. The center is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and charged with identifying ways to improve health, enhance patient care and control costs through interprofessional practice and education.
“As we transition from a payment system based on volume to value-based reimbursement under the Affordable Care Act, optimizing our health care workforce will be essential to improving access and controlling health costs,” said Mr. James, who served as 25th Pennsylvania secretary of health and is professor of health policy and management in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. “To achieve this goal, providers are innovating at a furious pace to develop approaches that allow all health professionals to practice to the full extent of their training and education. With expansion of electronic health records and other new technologies, care teams – including doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physical therapists and others – have new tools to enhance collaboration.”
“In the rapidly changing practice environment, we need to ensure that research and evaluation of new interprofessional models is being fed back to health sciences schools to inform our curriculum. This feedback loop will help educational institutions train a collaboration-ready health care workforce,” said Susan Meyer, Ph.D., associate dean for education and professor in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, and chair of the Pitt Working Group on Interprofessional Education.
Discounted rates for early registration to All Together Better Health VII are available through Friday, April 25.